Ah… the Age-Old Argument

Since this week has been a “blow up” week of all things controversial, I figured I’d throw one more in the ring. Controversial Books. Let’s ban them! Burn them! Pretend they never existed! Matter of fact, when we hear someone use the titles of one, let’s bury our heads into our pillows and scream! Then throw said pillow in said person’s face. Whew. It’s exhausting. BUT it has been the theme of our government this week, so when in Rome….I mean, America…

Why do we ‘ban’ books? (As if we could do so under the Constitution?? Oh, wait…apparently that age-old document has been through the ringer this week!) There are some people with such strong opinions toward literature that they feel it would benefit the greater populace to rid the country of it entirely. Why in the world would we introduce our children to Mark Twain’s satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when he uses offensive words???? You mean that there is NO religion in 1984, and they do WHAT in a CHURCH? Gasp! Gone With the Wind, a novel set in Antebellum South, has racial issues? Dear Me!! What should we do?!?! Well, we as Americans always have the solution— ban something! Or vote! Then vote again when we don’t like the outcome! OR diversify literature so that these so called ‘banned’ books become an apparent attempt to bury our past and its achievements, shame, knowledge, enlightenment under the dirt of modern transgressions.

Okay- I may have been a TEENY WEENY bit sarcastic up to this point. In all seriousness, literature is wonderful! American literature, once it branched out beyond the confines of European mimicking, is something to be celebrated. From The Awakening by Kate Chopin to The Help by Kathryn Stockett, novels are an escape from the modern day. They are a way to connect to the past while learning about oneself. There is a lesson to be learned in each novel in which you can immerse yourself. It’s like a mini-vacay for your brain! Despite the fact that some of the classics, like Twain, use antiquated words, there is much to be said for style. Don’t get so caught up in your defensive nature and complete disregard the moral, the theme, the intent behind the overall plot of a novel. Perhaps you disagree with the author’s choice of language (and apparently we live in a country full of people with opinions), but don’t lose perspective. Remember that each author created that story from within his/her own depths, in his/her own time period in order to convey a STORY for the sheer purpose of entertaining. If you’re lucky, within that entertainment, you can find something magical!

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